Tim Chevalier told Gizmodo that it was a cruel irony that Google attempted to justify firing him by claiming that his social networking posts showed bias against my harassers.
Chevalier is disabled, and transgender and he said that his internal posts that defended women of colour and marginalised people. He had worked for Google for two years and was fired in November 2017.
It seems that Chevalier’s posts were quoted in Damore’s lawsuit against Google — in which Damore sued the company for discrimination against conservative white men — as evidence Google permitted liberals to speak out at the company unpunished. Chevalier’s lawsuit alleges that his firing is, in fact, a form of punishment.
In a statement, Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano says Google was enforcing its policy against the promotion of harmful stereotypes. “An important part of our culture is a lively debate. But like any workplace, that doesn’t mean anything goes. All employees acknowledge our code of conduct and other workplace policies, under which promoting harmful stereotypes based on race or gender is prohibited”, Scigliano said.
“This is a very standard expectation that most employers have of their employees. The overwhelming majority of our employees communicate in a way that is consistent with our policies. But when an employee does not, it is something we must take seriously. We always make our decision without any regard to the employee’s political views.”
One of the internal memes Chevalier created was inspired by a black Google employee, who wrote in an internal Google Plus post that she was being asked to present her ID badge more often than her white co-workers. A Google employee allegedly responded to the post by noting that asking for ID was just part of the job, Gizmodo reported.
Chevalier then made a privilege-denying dude meme using Google’s internal meme generator with the caption: “I have opinions about forms of oppression that don’t affect me.”
In mid-September, Chevalier was called into a meeting by HR and told that a complaint had been made about another post in which he said he would not work with people who shared Damore’s views. In the same month, Chevalier’s acting manager told him he was engaging in too much “social activism”, the suit alleges.
In August, Chevalier and 13 other Google employees were also targeted by alt-right trolls as part of a widespread backlash against Damore’s firing. A 4chan-related Twitter account posted a screenshot of the employees’ Twitter profiles, all of whom were of colour, women, or trans men. These profiles then became targets of online harassment, some of which Chevalier details in his complaint.